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NZ Defence Force Rescues Kiwis from Riot-Torn New Caledonia, Lands Safely in Auckland

A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules plane completed a mercy mission, evacuating New Zealanders from riot-affected New Caledonia, and landed in Auckland tonight. The aircraft prioritised the evacuation of women, children, the sick, and the elderly, transporting around 50 passengers from Nouméa, the capital of the French territory.

Initially expected to return to the RNZAF Base Auckland in Whenuapai, the aircraft instead touched down at Auckland International Airport at approximately 10 pm.

Winston Peters, the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced that more mercy flights would be scheduled throughout the week, though the exact number remains uncertain. "We will see who wants to come," he remarked, emphasizing the responsive nature of the operation.

He acknowledged the extensive efforts of the Foreign Affairs team and others involved in initiating the mission to bring Kiwis home. Peters expressed gratitude towards the French authorities for their assistance in ensuring the safe passage of the first group of 50 New Zealanders to the airport.

"Our top priority is the safety of New Zealanders in a dangerous situation, and our mission is to do everything possible to get them out," Peters stated confidently. "And I am confident we can do that."



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